The premiere anthology from Onotology Books, A Darkness Visible, has hit virtual shelves just in time for Halloween.
The anthology is a collection of postmodern horror. Sounds heavy, you say. What is “postmodern horror?”
Put simply, the fiction of A Darkness Visible plays with or overturns the conventions of both fiction itself — how it’s presented or by using nontraditional methods to communicate the narrative — as well as those of the horror genre.
A Darkness Visible includes my contribution, “The Book of Pangloss,” which is a piece of interactive fiction — what’s otherwise known as a choose-your-own-adventure story, complete with numbered passages that end in a decision to be made by the reader.
In the story, YOU are the defense attorney for an accused murderer. But is your client actually guilty? And what do the murders of three women have to do with a mysterious occult volume known as the Book of Pangloss?
Writing “Pangloss” checked off a box that’s long sat on my to-do list. Like other Gen Xers, I grew up on a heavy diet of CYOA paperbacks sourced from B. Dalton and Waldenbooks, with Fighting Fantasy being an absolute obsession that lasts to this day. I’d always wanted to write interactive fiction but could never find an appropriate market for it until the call for A Darkness Visible came around.
To write “Pangloss,” I used a freeware app called Twine and designed the story so that it stretched about 3,000 words long no matter which path the reader took. It was challenging but a blast to create, and the experience whet my appetite to write more CYOA.
A Darkness Visible is available now in paperback or as an e-book.